Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Chappie’ Leads a Slow Weekend
With some of the year’s biggest movies only a month or two away, the box office seems to have entered a holding pattern. Some of the new releases are minor hits. Others crash and burn. Right now, Hollywood just seems to be crossing their fingers and hoping for the sweet, sweet summer movie season to come along and save them (or at least the April release of Furious 7). In other words, every new release underperformed this weekend.
|3||The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel||$8,600,000||$5,467||$8,600,000|
|4||Kingsman: The Secret Service||$8,300,000 (-30.1)||$2,677||$98,028,000|
|5||The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||$7,000,000 (-35.3)
|6||50 Shades of Grey||$5,604,000 (-46.9)||$2,010||$156,448,000|
|7||McFarland, USA||$5,318,000 (-32.1)||$1,905||$29,426,000|
|8||The Lazarus Effect||$5,100,000 (-50.0)||$1,913||$17,400,000|
|9||The DUFF||$4,850,000 (-29.4)||$1,895||$26,116,000|
Critics felt burnt by Chappie and audiences certainly weren’t interested. The latest from Neill Blomkamp opened with with a poor $13 million, which is roughly half of what Elysium made in its opening weekend and one-third of what District 9 made before that. The film cost a reported $49 million, so it’s entirely plausible for it to break even (or even be a hit when the international grosses roll in), but this is a rough start. The fact that the film has proven wildly divisive amongst audiences will not help in the weeks ahead.
Meanwhile, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opened in third place with $8 million and it’s impossible to actually judge this number yet. The first film opened to similarly small numbers but it held on tight and hung around for a long time, eventually grossing close to $50 million. Older audiences don’t prioritize seeing a film on opening weekend. The real test for this one will be watching how it performs throughout the rest of the month.
But there’s no denying the failure of Unfinished Business, which opened in 10th place with a dismal $4 million. This is Vince Vaughn’s fifth high profile bomb in a row and evidence that he really needs to try something new with his career. Thankfully, he already has that True Detective Season 2 gig.
The rest of the box office kept on following the same patterns. Focus slipped to second place with $10 million, bringing the total gross to $34 million. The film wasn’t too expensive and it may get into the black, but it’s certainly not a hit. It’s also the second Will Smith film in a row to arrive with a whimper. Thankfully, he already has that Suicide Squad gig.
In fourth place, Kingsman: The Secret Service added $8 million to its total, putting it within spitting distance of $100 million. It should hit that mark in the next few days and from that point on, everything else is just gravy or icing or what-have-you.
Fifth and sixth place belonged to two films that have entered an unlikely battle to the death: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and 50 Shades of Grey. The goofy family film and the erotic romance have been attached at the hip for weeks now. Sure, 50 Shades may have opened bigger, but it slowed down in a hurry. SpongeBob has shown remarkable legs. At this point, it’s likely that SpongeBob will hang around long enough to catch up to 50 Shades’ gross and surpass it. No one saw that coming, especially the people who made The SpongeBob Movie.
In the final stretch, McFarland, USA and The DUFF continued to show off surprisingly sturdy legs. Neither film is huge, but both will soon pass $30 million on small budgets. That’s a little victory worth celebrating.